If your child is struggling in school, there are a number of strategies you can try to help them cope, including taking regular breaks and allowing them to make their own mistakes.
How to help your child struggling in school?
It’s totally normal for a child to struggle in school at some point during their school career. This isn’t your fault, and you shouldn’t ever blame yourself. However, to help make things a little easier when the situation does arise, we’ve listed some strategies that can help both you and your child cope when things get a little tough.
1. It’s not always rational
When children become upset about school, this can overcome any rational thinking. So rather than arguing or grilling your child about the situation, you should just wait it out. After they have cooled down, you may find it easier to have a conversation about the situation, or maybe not. But don’t expect them to be rational from the outset.
2. Allow your child to be upset
When children are having a difficult time in relation to a school subject or homework, they tend to react with anger. Parents can then blame themselves and think what did I do wrong?, but actually it’s probably not you.
Sometimes when a child is feeling frustrated or misunderstood at school, they get angry and lash out at their parents, because they’re naturally close to you. This is a way of making you feel as bad or as vulnerable as they feel. It’s their way of making you understand. It’s therefore important not to take offense, rather understand that it isn’t them speaking, it’s their frustrations.
3. Set homework time limits
Teachers don’t expect your child to work all night on their homework or a particular subject. Actually, most will expect a half hour duration as a limit. If your child is struggling and exceeds the time limit, then write a note to the teacher to explain what could be done in the time period given.
4. Understand that homework is usually a battleground
No one has ever raised children without a battle with homework. It’s completely normal and expected. At times, children will find homework fascinating and fun, but at other times they will find it frustrating and do everything in their power to avoid it. It’s up to you to help encourage them to find a structure in getting it done during those tough times.
By following these tips, you can create an environment for work that’s less stressful for both you and your child. It’s important to remember that the school and your child’s teacher are there to help too. It’s not up to you to struggle alongside your child. Simply reach out and your child’s teacher will be happy to assist in any way they can.
5. Keep in touch with the teacher and school
If a project or homework is running into a dreaded battle, then simply speak to the school sooner rather than later. They can help provide some new strategies and insights that may help improve the homework situation when at home.
6. Take a break
If your child is saying I can’t do it! and throws their school products, books, and homework away, then perhaps it’s time for a little break. Let them blow off steam and have a rant. After five or ten minutes, come back and start fresh. This gives your child a chance to save face and they can start over without discussing the previous outburst or difficulty they experienced.
7. Allow room for mistakes
It’s difficult to not correct your child’s work – as parents we naturally want to help – but most teachers will request you don’t take over unless your child asks for help, or they have specifically asked you to help them. Generally, teachers want to know what the child does and doesn’t understand, not what the parent understands.
8. Teach your child organizational skills
This is a great lifelong skill and the earlier it’s taught, the better. Assist your child in discovering organization skills that will work for them and lead by example by showcasing some of your own.
You could try these tasks:
- Encourage your child to organize their things by labeling items
- Encourage them to create to-do lists before they leave for school
- Organize a weekly clean out of their school bags or desks
During all these tasks, try to practice patience as they may not be successful every time.
Teachers do a lot to help ensure your child gets the best education possible. However, sometimes they can struggle to fund resources for the classroom due to low funds and limited funding for schools and teachers. If you’d like to help them with resources for the classroom, donate to your child’s teacher via TeacherFunder!
TeacherFunder is a funding platform specifically designed to help teachers who want to provide better resources and a better education for your children. Check out the website today to see how it works, or contact us to find out more information.